Avatar: The Way of Water grossed $8 million more than anticipated as of Sunday

Total box office for the weekend ended at $94 million, $7 million more than originally forecast.

As industry watchers hinted at yesterday, “Avatar: The Way of Water” (Disney) performed significantly better at Christmas than the studio initially thought. Actual domestic gross was $29.5 million, not $21.5 million. The total for the three-day weekend was $64 million, not $54 million as initially reported, but $261,682,000 cumulatively.

Of course, that’s a big positive for the film, since December 26th is also a public holiday, which has usually grossed even better than Christmas. With eight more days of play over the holiday period through January 2, based on the Christmas Day showing, James Cameron’s film could gross an additional $150 million or more in domestic gross. That would take it well over $400 million before riding it fairly freely as a likely No. 1 for several weeks, even with totals falling. That suggests the film could see a domestic gross closer to $600 million, rather than projecting the lower estimates of the original numbers.

The drop for the three days was 52 percent since the opening weekend, versus the 58 percent originally reported. This compares well to “Rogue One,” which dominated Christmas 2016, when the calendar last matched that year. This is particularly important as the weather had a major impact on both Friday and Saturday, further impacting the box office.

Curiously, of the weekend’s top ten films, only The Way of the Water didn’t more than double its Christmas gross. That’s not uncommon when a film does most of the business. Substantial pre-buyers could have helped him on Saturday as well, with those who might otherwise have postponed still going ahead.

Among early revised numbers, to be received, #3 “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” (Sony) fell significantly from its original estimate. It raised $4,765,000, not the $5,300,000 originally estimated. “Babylon” (Paramount) improved by $100,000 but was still a paltry $3,600,000.

While the better earnings for The Way of Water are indeed good news, the three-day weekend still grossed just $94 million. That’s down 62 percent from 2019, when ticket prices were 20 percent lower and more than a third lower than last year (which had a cheaper December 24-26 calendar).

Disney only reported national results, details of full international numbers will follow.

A revised actual gross earnings table will be released shortly as all numbers are reported.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/12/avatar-way-of-water-box-office-sunday-1234794665/ Avatar: The Way of Water grossed $8 million more than anticipated as of Sunday

Lindsay Lowe

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